Archive for Chard

The Courthouse, Chard

On Saturday the Courthouse at Chard was open for visitors as a one off for the Chard Festival. The Town Crier was out in his finery announcing what was going on.


The Courtroom is a very old building dating back to the 1640’s and part of a complex of ancient buildings in Chard.  This floor plan shows the age of these buildings.  We went through the first passageway on the left to the light blue building and up the stairs to the courtroom.


This is an outside view.


We went through the door way and past a really old door.


then up the stairs and into the courtroom.

The windows were mullioned and had leaded glass, which was not original but had been replaced as part of a restoration.


The most striking aspect of the courtroom are the plaster murals and decorative ceiling.


The murals on the end of the wall where the judge would be seated all had meanings which people of the time would have fully understood.

There was the judgement of Solomon.


And David in the lions den.


meaning that if you innocent then no harm will befall you.

It is said that the infamous Judge Jefferys known as the “Hanging Judge” presided here in 1685 and Taunton as part of the “Bloody Assizes” after the failure of the Monmouth rebellion.

The mural on the far end of the room represents a Phoenix rising from the ashes, which symbolises Chard rising again from the large fire of 1577 which destroyed a large part of the town.

Certainly an interesting visit and good to learn a little of the history of our nearest town.

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